ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said the country’s defence, sovereignty, national dignity and freedom were above everything to the nation and no one had the courage to take away its freedom.
In a message on the occasion of Youm-e-Takbir to mark the day of nuclear tests carried out by Pakistan in 1998, the prime minister said the day reminded that for the defence, solidarity and national interests, they would not budge from any sacrifice. He said the historic day was a clear declaration of ‘no compromise over country’s sovereignty, and defence’.
“Twenty-five years ago today, the people of Pakistan announced the invincibility of their defence by detonating five nuclear explosions in response to India’s nuclear explosions,” he added.
The prime minister stressed that they would have to move ahead with the same spirit as manifested in Youm-e-Takbir to attain economic sovereignty and self-dependence. He underlined that it was a day to get united for the solidarity of the country as it was the main strength of the nation and expressed his determination that with such unity, hard work and staunch faith, they would turn Pakistan into ‘an economic power’.
The prime minister paid tributes to the patriotism of then-prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif who raised the name of Pakistan among the comity of nations with pride, adding the former prime minister had rejected all the pressures and temptations of billions of dollars and made Pakistan, the seventh nuclear world power and the first Islamic country possessing nuclear deterrence.
He also lauded Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, and also paid rich tributes to Benazir Bhutto Shaheed who, as the opposition leader backed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision of nuclear tests in 1998.
“I want to tell the youth that there were deep political differences between the government and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto but setting aside all the differences for the sake of the country, she supported the government,” he added.
The prime minister said the armed forces of the country had rendered valuable services for the country’s nuclear programme, which had been a golden chapter in its history. He also appreciated Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, (Mohsin-e-Pakistan), all scientists, engineers and other individuals who contributed to Pakistan’s atomic programme.
The prime minister also expressed his gratitude to Saudi Arabia and other brotherly and friendly countries that had helped Pakistan during the economic sanctions. He said the mountains of Chagai still echoed with the same resolve, and Balochistan province still bore distinction with regard to the defence of the country.
PM Shehbaz said on May 28 1998, the whole world was on the other side putting pressure, threats and giving temptations, but the leadership of the country, with the support of the nation and the opposition, made the impossible, possible. “We also faced economic difficulties. The unity of the nation is the real nuclear power of Pakistan,” he added.
The ISPR said on the occasion: “Today, the complete Pakistani nation celebrates the Silver Jubilee of Youm-e-Takbeer and commemorates the remarkable achievement of establishing Credible Minimum Deterrence. This achievement has reshaped the power dynamics in our region.
“Armed Forces pay rich tribute to the brilliant minds who conceived and achieved this accomplishment under daunting challenges. We salute the scientists and engineers who turned the impossible into a reality. Long Live Pakistan.”
Earlier, the prime minister posted on his Twitter handle, “Living nations uphold the honour and dignity of their benefactors and heroes who render the supreme sacrifice of their life so that their countrymen and women can live peacefully.”
The prime minister also thanked the people of Pakistan for their active participation in the solemn observance of Youm-e-Takreem Shuhada-e-Pakistan on May 25. The prime minister said that it was a collective outpouring of gratitude for their Shuhada and Ghazis by the whole nation.
Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif said steps were being taken to ensure relief to the public in the upcoming budget. Talking to Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghous Pasha in Lahore, he said, “We brought the economy out of a difficult situation to stability.” He also appreciated the economic team’s efforts to stabilize the economy despite difficulties. He said a big relief package was given to flood victims. “Steps are being taken to ensure that the benefit of reduction in petroleum prices reaches the common people,” he added. The minister briefed the prime minister on the budget and overall economic situation.
Minister of State for Interior Abdul Rehman Kanju and former MNA Siddique Baloch met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The political situation was discussed in the meeting. Kanju informed the prime minister about the ongoing development projects in Lodhran district. Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Raja Riaz and MNA Nawab Sher Waseer also met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The political situation was discussed in the meeting.
Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistani soldiers have rendered excellent services in the UN peacekeeping, including the sacrifice of life in the most complex and dangerous conflict zones.
In a tweet, the PM said as the eight Pakistani peacekeepers were honoured posthumously on the completion of 75 years of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission. “Pakistan is proud of being one of the largest contributors to the peace missions under the UN umbrella. We are proud of our peacekeepers for their unprecedented commitment to duty,” he added.
On May 25, the UN honoured 103 military, police and civilian personnel from around the world, including eight Pakistani peacekeepers, who lost their lives serving under the UN flag last year. The special ceremony was presided over by Secretary-General (SG) Antonio Guterres, which marked the 75th anniversary of UN peacekeeping.
Also, talking to Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Shaza Fatima, Shehbaz Sharif said providing equal development opportunities and dignified employment to the youth is the top priority of government. He said sports activities were also being organized along with the provision of facilities of international standard in the realm of education and skills.
Citing the recent inauguration of the 34th National Games in Quetta, the prime minister said it was heartening to see the youth participating in positive activities.